Livestock Trends and Farmers’ Perceptions about their Impacts in Southern Zambia

Gelson Tembo, Evans Kapekele, Alice Tembo, Fusya Y. Goma, Jairos Sambo

Abstract


This study uses data from a mixed-methods survey of livestock-rearing communities in three districts in the Southern Province of Zambia to understand trends in livestock numbers and smallholder farmers' perceptions about their impacts on livelihoods. The results show that livestock numbers have generally declined due to disease outbreaks and distress selling of livestock, which are most prevalent during droughts. These have in turn led to a myriad of impacts, including: i) reduction of cultivated land area, ii) reduction of school-related expenditure, iii) households sliding on the poverty scale, and iv) reduction of expenditure on other household needs such as clothing. However, the extent to which these have been experienced varies by livestock system and poverty status of the household. Districts that rear less resilient livestock species, such as cattle, are more likely to perceive severe effects of livestock-related shocks, which tend to be worse when they are also poor.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/jas.v2i2.5397

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Journal of Agricultural Studies   ISSN 2166-0379

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